Using public transport
is more often trial than joy,
but today behind me on the bus
I heard a little boy
sitting on his mother’s lap,
face against the glass,
calling names of vehicles
whenever they went past.
Cars, he didn’t bother with;
he wanted things like “truck”
“ambulance” and “caravan”
or “double-decker bus”.
Then we stopped by a building site –
his poor brain overloaded.
So many names burst out of him,
I thought that he’d exploded.
“Forklift truck!” he screamed with glee.
“Lorry – cement mixer!
Caterpillar truck! A crane!
Van! Bulldozer! Digger!”
It made the whole bus smile.
And me? I wished I shared his luck –
to have a child’s uncomplicated life,
the joy of trucks.
Yes, of course I’ll baby-sit all weekend.
No, it’s not a problem, not at all.
Two days and nights – the time will simply fly by!
Sure, the three of us will have a ball…
Yes, I’ll try to help you with your homework.
Yes, I’d love to help you draw a train.
I’ll check no spiders lurk behind the toilet,
then I’ll watch you play your Minecraft game.
No – it’s time to turn off the computer.
Yes, that is exactly what Mum said –
and now it’s time to put on your pyjamas.
Yes, I do know when you go to bed!
Why is it so hard to put on trousers?
Please, will you stop wriggling – for me?
No – don’t wave your bare bottom out the window!
No, the neighbours do not want to see!
Let’s go walking to the park this morning –
Mummy says you always like to go.
Yes, we’re going – you’ll love it when you get there…
Now you don’t want to leave? Told you so!
No – put down that massive water pistol!
Please, don’t push your brother off the tree –
I don’t want to have to tell your mother
we all had to visit A&E.
Yes, of course I’ll let you text your mummy
“I love you” (awww!) – you can use my phone.
(And when they’ve finished, I’ll text too. My message –
“Please, please, tell me – are you coming home?!”)